Time Management Book By Stephen Covey – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes? 

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It is important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.